Timberlake football coach recovering after medical scare

Timberlake football coach recovering...

SPIRIT LAKE, Idaho - It's hard to remember a time when Timberlake High School Head Football Coach Roy Albertson wasn't on the football field. 

"The players love him," said Assistant Coach Brian Kluss. "He loves them."

Coach Alby, as he's called has been coaching at Timberlake for almost fifteen years and never misses a practice. 

"He's never not here," said Assistant Coach Aric Jeffs. "He's always here."

Commitment is a big part of Alby's coaching style, for his players and for his fellow coaches. The commitment he gives, he gets back for the most part--fortunately for him. 

His coaches and trainers commitment to their CPR and first aid training saved his life on Tuesday when Coach Alby collapsed on the field during a practice after suffering a heart attack. 

"He was struggling to breath," said Kluss, "and then we couldn't feel a pulse. He started turning blue." 

Coaches and trainers immediately jumped into action. One coach began compressions, while the trainer began emergency breathing. One coach ran to get an AED and another called 911. 

It was their fast actions that saved Alby's life. 

"When you have something like that, speed is everything," said Cassi Johnson, the school's head trainer. 

It took 10 minutes to get Coach Alby stable enough for paramedics to Lifeflight him to Kootenai Medical Center. 

There he received open heart surgery with multiple bypasses. 

Assistant Coach Kluss told KXLY the surgery was successful. 

"He just needs time to rest and heal," said Kluss. 

The team is looking forward to having Coach Alby, but right now its not certain when he will return to coaching. 

But hearing that their coach is recovering is a relief to the players, who say they can go into their Friday night football game more focused. 

"We are going to do the best we possible can, " said Joey Follini, the team's quarterback. "That's what Alby would want."